counters

JULY 19, 2016

The end is in sight!  Today is the day that my darkroom will actually start to look like a darkroom. However, that's easier said than done (here we go again).

Here are the original plans I had for the darkroom. It made sense in my head— three items (an enlarger, a sink, and a counter), three walls. We bought lumber according to this plan. 

Plan 1, which for some reason included putting the sink on castors.  I remember coming up with this idea and thinking that it was so clever. Hindsight is always 20/20.

(Note: the darkroom, while little, is not 8 inches by 12 inches).

 

LUMBER

  • 4 4"x" 12' fir & larch (while pine is a cheaper option, fir & larch is known for being more sturdy and easier to stain)
  • 3 ¼" underlay plywood (ulay for short)
  • 3 ½" ulay
  • 20 2"x4" 8'
The haul from the hardware store.

The haul from the hardware store.

The original enlarger counter, which would make a nice portable bar.

The original enlarger counter, which would make a nice portable bar.

We did a rough measurement, and despite my awareness of the standard counter being 36" tall, I decided that 40" would be a good height for the enlarger table (why, Megan? I often ask myself, but since I'm indecisive I always answer "I don't know"). 

Now, the enlarger I have is an Omega Condenser Head enlarger, which stands at 54" tall in total.  With this in mind I still decided that a 40" tall table was okay. This put the top of the enlarger at 7'8", a whopping 2'4" taller than I am. In short, have a cup of coffee before you take measurements, or follow the age old "measure twice, cut once" (or just listen to the handyman who knows a lot more about construction than you do).

Our handyman built it that way per my request. He was pretty happy when I realized that he was right all along, and so we switched to a plan he came up with.  My original three-counter, space wasting idea was traded for a counter surround that would give me an insane amount of counter space.

Plan 2, which includes a 'U' counter and a workable enlarger height. (Note: some people are talented enough to make the same mistake twice.)

Plan 2, which includes a 'U' counter and a workable enlarger height.

(Note: some people are talented enough to make the same mistake twice.)

One of the great things about the new plan is that it uses significantly less lumber, which means putting some bills back in your pocket (think of me as your bumbling guinea pig for this project— I'm running on one of those hamster wheels thinking I'm actually going somewhere and you're aware of the tank around you on a metaphysical level). Anyway, the point is that this is cheaper and more work/storage efficient.

The enlarger is now at a workable height of 32". 

The enlarger is now at a workable height of 32". 

Our handyman notched the 2x4s under the sink by about an inch and it fits perfectly.  Also, I am officially in love with the amount of counter space.  It's the little things in life. 

Our handyman notched the 2x4s under the sink by about an inch and it fits perfectly.  Also, I am officially in love with the amount of counter space.  It's the little things in life.